ANAHEIM – The absence of Marian Hossa will be one of the few things dimming the spotlight between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks.
Hossa didn't skate Wednesday, and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville ruled him out for the matchup Wednesday at Honda Center. Quenneville said Hossa is day-to-day and said the injury wasn't serious.
Hossa left the game Monday against the Colorado Avalanche with an upper-body injury in the first period when he was hit against the boards by Ryan O'Byrne.
Chicago has four days off after the game Wednesday but Quenneville said getting Hossa that extra time off wasn't a factor.
"He wasn't ready to come back [Monday] and he's not ready tonight," Quenneville said.
Daniel Carcillo will draw in and Patrick Kane could see time in Hossa's spot next to Jonathan Toews, Quenneville said.
Anaheim is without Corey Perry, serving the last of a four-game suspension. Asked what it meant for the teams to not have Perry and Hossa, respectively, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said both teams have been able to win without them before he cracked up the assembled scrum.
"Are you telling me Patrick Sharp is back in?" Boudreau joked.
Most of the talk centered on the enormity of the game. This is the first time two teams with a win percentage better than .800 have met at least 25 games into the regular season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
"It's the kind of game you want to play, where this is the best in one against the best in another," Boudreau said. "When you're dreaming, when you're a kid, these are the kind of games you dream about. I think it's fun. This is what sports and entertainment is all about, I think, in games like this tonight."
Kane concurred with the notion that Chicago's run has overshadowed Anaheim, which is five points behind Chicago in the Western Conference standings. Anaheim defeated Chicago in a shootout Feb. 12.
"I think it is kind of a measuring stick to see how close these teams are together and where we compare, compared to them, because they've had a great season and they'd probably have a lot more attention if we haven't had the season we had," Kane said. "Yeah, it's a good measuring stick, but we want to prove to ourselves and show that we're the best team in the West."
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Jamal Mayers
Jimmy Hayes – Dave Bolland – Patrick Kane
Viktor Stalberg – Andrew Shaw – Bryan Bickell
Brandon Bollig/Daniel Carcillo – Marcus Kruger – Michael Frolik
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson – Johnny Oduya
Nick Leddy – Sheldon Brookbank
Injured: Patrick Sharp (shoulder), Marian Hossa (upper body)
Notes: Crawford was first off the ice and will get his second shot at Anaheim after he lost in a shootout. Brookbank came off with the regulars and it would be his first action in three games, against his former team.
Bobby Ryan – Ryan Getzlaf – Teemu Selanne
Kyle Palmieri – Peter Holland – Emerson Etem
Andrew Cogliano – Saku Koivu – Daniel Winnik
Matt Beleskey – David Steckel – Brad Staubitz
Sheldon Souray – Francois Beauchemin
Toni Lydman – Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa – Ben Lovejoy
Injured: Nick Bonino (lower body)
Scratched: Corey Perry (suspension), Brandon McMillan, Ben Lovejoy
Notes: Hiller was first off the ice. His start would be somewhat curious given that Fasth beat Chicago in the Feb. 12 meeting but both goalies have been solid. Judging by the line rushes, Ryan is back with Getzlaf on the top line, while Palmieri, Holland and Etem constitute a "kid" line. Bryan Allen did not skate but Boudreau said he is available.